Since the news of Jennifer Lawrence‘s private nude photos being leaked broke in late August, the Hunger Games‘ star has stayed silent about the incident. In this month’s issue of Vanity Fair, she responds publicly for the first time. “It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,” the actress says. “It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.”
The 24-year old actor’s statement is a departure from those of other young starlets like Scarlett Johansson, Vanessa Hudgens and Blake Lively, whose purported nude photos were also hacked. Their responses have been in the vein of resignation or even denial. For Lawrence, she was even contemplating how she would phrase her apology, but “every single thing that I tried to write made me cry or get angry. I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”
Lawrence has shifted the conversation from blaming not just the hackers and publishers, but also “anybody who looked at those pictures. You’re perpetuating a sexual offense.”
Jennifer Lawrence’s statement comes as lawyer Marty Singer is threatening to sue Google for $100 million for “failing to act expeditiously and responsibly to remove the images but in knowingly accommodating, facilitating, and perpetuating the unlawful conduct” reportedly on behalf of several celebrities also involved in the leaks. The F.B.I. is also investigating the case.
“Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it,” Lawrence says. “It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”
Lawrence frames her anger in terms of a violation of her choice. “Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this,” she says. “It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world.”
With these statements, there is no doubt that Lawrence attempts to change the game by shifting from a helpless, apologetic victim to one focusing the fault on all those who gain from posting or consuming these stolen images in terms of a sex crime.